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The Paw Print

School year comes to a close with GIP capstone projects

Poly communications

As the seniors in the Global Initiatives Program (GIP) rounded off their final weeks at Poly, they each found unique ways to present their capstone projects to the student and faculty community.

GIP Co-Director Ann Diederich, shared, “The capstone project combines the student’s passions along with a global issue that they are passionate about. ‘Glocal’ encompasses how we take in global perspectives while acting locally.”

Senior Justin Wang guided sophomores across history classes about the Uyghur Genocide in Xinjiang. He was inspired to tackle this issue in his project from his past experiences learning about the genocide. Wang expressed, “One of my favorite GIP events was in February of 2023 when three Uyghurs came to Poly. Then, in the same year, I went to Kazakhstan, where we met a Uyghur family and learned about how they escaped the genocide.”

Senior Cyanne Jones’ project focused on improving hospital environments. “I enhanced the environment for people who experience the eerie sensation of being in a hospital through providing distractions: for example, crossword puzzles, word searches, magazines and newspapers. I got supplies from the National Charity League, Girl Scouts and Jack and Jill, repurposing them in the waiting room,” she described. With word of Jones’ project spreading, Huntington Hospital and Beverly Hospital have expressed interest in partnering with her.

Poly communications

Seniors Sanjay Robles, Parker Gooden and Sam Gutierrez continued working on their nonprofit Ayudas Técnicas para Mayores (ATM) to help Spanish-speaking elderly people with technological uses. Their bilingual pamphlet teaches the elderly about the basic functions of their phone, such as sending emails and checking bank accounts. Robles stated, “ATM also created life-long bonds. I like to say that we are in a business of caring, oftentimes just discussing life with them for hours.”

Senior Klaryssa Cobian created a greenspace for her elementary school in Downtown Los Angeles through her program Urban Schools Gardens Elevating Education. She described her inspiration for the project, saying, “After coming to Poly, I realized the disparity within the campuses of the two schools, and I wanted to change that.” She further advises students about approaching passion projects: “I want students to dream big but also do something that they physically can. Building a supportive environment helps generate ideas and hold one responsible through the challenges.”

GIP Co-Director Rick Caragher expresses the significance of sharing these capstone projects: “Hopefully, they will be inspired to go out and learn and make a transformative impact themselves after listening to the passions of their peers.”

Poly communications


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Kelly Zhang
Kelly Zhang, Assistant News Editor
Grade: 11 Years on Staff: 2 Fun Fact: I like to garden in my free time Favorite TV Show: Band of Brothers
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